Politics is a tool to serve society and not a medium to horde personal benefits – this sums up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 20 uninterrupted years in public office.
In the year 2001, Gujarat’s Bhuj was devastated by an earthquake. It required a capable and compassionate administrator to lead the humongous relief and rehabilitation operations. It was vital to have a leader who could lead from the front and bring about an absolute turnaround at the ground level as well as rekindle the spirit of resilience amongst the lakhs of affected people. With that kind of job description, the name that rings in your mind also rang in the mind of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. And it was that of Narendra Damodardas Modi.
When Modi took charge as the Chief Minister of Gujarat on October 8, 2001, little did anyone know that he was starting a historic journey that would propel him to become the Prime Minister of India. He won people’s trust and affection election after election for more than 20 years – first at the state level and then at the national level – which is an unparalleled feat in modern political history for any public figure in a democracy. Although Opposition Parties have been hitting out at Modi and manufacturing conspiracies of appalling standards, he continues to triumph against his political adversaries backed by the love and admiration of people and the power of truth.
In this remarkable journey of two decades, PM Modi has shown that politics and public office are not a tool to rule but a medium to serve the society and nation. It is an instrument to bring fundamental changes and break the status quo. His commitment to the cause is evident from the fact that he has not taken a single day’s break in the past two decades which aptly reflects that he truly is a Pradhan sewak.
There is a long list of achievements of the past 20 years of Modi which cannot be accounted for in an article. Several transformational changes have been initiated and implemented by him in the last two decades resolving long-pending issues ailing the country. The governance model of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister and Prime Minister has been widely hailed and appreciated by citizens enabling him to win each and every election. However, going beyond quantifiable measures, the Modi era has ushered certain remarkable and progressive fundamental changes to our national character which need to be highlighted.
The decades-old nexus of corruption, nepotism and dynasty rule
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance has unshackled the common Indian of the baggage of corruption, nepotism and dynasty rule and enabled them to discover their true potential. His governments didn’t have any taint. Through DBT and Jan-Dhan accounts, he has ensured that there are no leaks and the money meant reaches them directly. Gone are the days when 1 rupee was given to a beneficiary and only 15 paise reached him. Now, when 1 rupee is given by the government, the whole amount reaches the deserving beneficiary.
Development at the centre stage of politics
For all political parties and governments, development has taken centre stage in politics because of the “Narendra Modi school of politics”. Enhancing ease of living for all citizens and achieving ease of business has become the mainstay of politics for all. All state governments and the Central government are in a healthy competition to focus and outperform each other on developmental issues as Modi has proved time and again that ‘Development delivers Votes’.
The famous Gujarat model was hailed all across the world as Modi turned it into a power surplus state with a zero deficit annual budget. He started the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit in 2003 and since then, Gujarat has become the most developed state of the country. The state saw bumper growth in agriculture and fast growth in infrastructure. India’s infrastructure, which has already grown massively under Modi, is poised to grow even more.
Social and moral leadership
PM Modi has ignited and inspired several social revolutions in India in the past seven years such as Swachh Bharat, International Yoga Day, Fit India, open defecation free India, Beti Bachao, Beti Padao, ujjwala etc. On a single appeal by the PM, people have voluntarily given up lakhs of crores of subsidy on LPG gas. This has never happened in the past where people have given up their financial benefits for a larger national interest. He has himself led by example whether it is doing yoga or even cleaning the streets with a broom. He has spoken about these welfare measures from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence day, inspiring crores of Indians.
Empowering the poor and the marginalised
PM Modi has ushered in massive welfare schemes to empower the poor and marginalised by bringing financial inclusion to every household in India with 44 Crore new Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts. Funding through Mudra Yojana of around 30 crore loan sanctions and Rs 16 lakh crore disbursals that resulted in massive employment generation and entrepreneurial spirit among youth and women. With 40 billion real-time transactions, India is the largest digital payments ecosystem in the world.
Even until 2014, the country was desperately struggling to electrify all its villages, provide proper sanitation and make healthcare affordable to all. Modi in a remarkably short span of time has ensured that every village has electricity, every house gets tap water, every family has Ayushman Bharat health insurance and he is on his way to ensuring housing for all. In midst of a global pandemic also, virtually everyone is getting free ration and free vaccination. Even the worst critics of Modi will have to admit that he has made stellar progress in these critical areas of human existence. He has provided a voice, dignity and basic requirements of life to the poor and marginalized of the country.
Resolution of centuries-old issues
PM Modi through his visionary leadership has been able to resolve centuries-old issues plaguing the nation. The longest-running dispute in Ayodhya was amicably resolved when PM performed Bhoomi Pujan for the Ram Mandir at Shri Ram Janmbhoomi. Similarly, abrogation of Article 370 which should have been done decades back could be abolished only under the leadership of PM Modi. Similarly, several old archaic laws have been repealed and new critical legislations like GST Act which were pending for a long time were successfully implemented to give financial oneness and uniformity to the country’s financial systems.
Strong decisive leadership
PM Modi through his courageous and decisive leadership has changed our acquired character of the last 70 years of buckling under pressure from a powerful adversary. The border infrastructure which has been developed at the border with China was never even attempted by any government in the past. China was made to retreat from Doklam and Pangong Lake. From surgical strikes across LoC to climate change negotiations and free trade agreements, everyone has realized the prowess of New India of 2021 which is no longer perceived as a soft state.
The appeal and admiration for PM Modi transcend all boundaries of caste, creed regions and unite people across the nation. Even amidst the global pandemic, all credible national and international reports reflect that he is consistently emerging as the most popular leader in the world. Today, India is widely acknowledged as an emerging superpower. In the post-Covid new world order, India under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi has the potential to emerge as the new global leader.
The writer is a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the stand of this publication.
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